Bloomberg: Use federal money to expand the subway system, not protect it

Workers prepare to truck subway cars to the Rockaways. (Patrick Cashin/M.T.A.)
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Mayor Michael Bloomberg this morning argued that the federal government's money would be better spent expanding the subway system than protecting it from flood.

"I think a legitimate question is, if this happens only once 110 years, and if you get it back as quickly as they did, is that a good use of your money?" he said, during his regular Friday morning appearance on the John Gambling radio show. "You'd probably be better off taking those dollars, I think, and expanding the subway out to where people have now lived compared to when they did 100 years ago when the subways were built. Or have more trains, and better signaling so you can have more trains on the same track. There are a lot of things you could do with money to make the subway system better."

Governor Andrew Cuomo's has requested more than $40 billion from the federal government, including $9 billion to invest in infrastructure that will lessen the impact of future such storms.

The M.T.A. has said that, among other things, it's looking into flood gates and industrial balloons to plug tunnels.

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